EVALUATION OF SPATIO-TEMPORAL ASPECTS OF LAND USE AND LAND COVER CHANGES IN NAGALAND, NORTH-EAST, INDIA
Keywords: Land use/ land cover, changes analysis, deforestation, shifting cultivation
Abstract. Land use is a dynamic phenomenon, changing with time and space. Land use/land cover (LULC) information and its periodic changes has become crucial to carry out the prediction to the dynamical change of land use. This study analyzed the spatial and temporal changes in land use that has taken place in Nagaland over the last 10 years (2005–2016). It has been observed that the dynamic change in land use and land cover has been mainly caused by the traditional practice of jhum cultivation, also known as shifting cultivation in Nagaland, which constitute about 81% of the total agricultural land. As a result, there is a decline in forest area by 593.87 km2 (5.66%) from 2005–2006 to 2015–2016. Concurrently, abandoned jhum land and scrubland has increased by 11.72% and 24.89%, demonstrating the decreased in jhum/ shifting cultivation cycle. The loss of forest in the last decade was attributed to ever increasing population, putting pressure on demand of jhum/ shifting cultivation and other anthropogenic activities. The degradation of forest is ever increasing, which calls for intervention of appropriate technology and holistic approach to address this issue.